Prayer for the day
LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; hearken, O God of Jacob.
Scripture for the day
The story of Israel is in many ways a tragedy. The last section of the book of 2 Chronicles is dedicated to summarizing Israel’s rejection of their God and God’s subsequent rejection of his people. There is obvious pain in the heart of the writer echoing the obvious pain in God’s heart as he recounts the people’s reactions to the various prophets and messengers he has sent to them to warn them of the dire consequences of their sin.
This is a far cry from the picture of the cruel God who does whatever he wants to do we are presented with by many people. This is a God who has gone to extraordinary lengths to woo his people back from infidelity. This is a God who has not just sent a “Dear John” letter, but a God who has gone to the ends of the earth to reach a people who rejected him. And in return, this God encounters pain, rejection, and scoffing.
Scoffing is not simply making fun of, but it is a vocal rejection, a mockery that moves beyond simple sarcasm or teasing and enters cruelty. It is a cruel dismissal of the value of someone and what they say.
The people of Israel mocked and scoffed at the prophets who brought God’s word to them.
The religious leaders years later would scoff the same way at the very God who had sent them the prophets. In his torment, Jesus is not only humiliated but he is mocked. The soldiers and leaders scoff at him, dismissing his power, his authority, his words, his identity, and seek to strip him of anything that would be dignified.
Jesus, through this scoffing, does not cry out, does not mock in turn, and most importantly, does not assert what is his right. Instead, Jesus accepts the scoffing, and ultimately will work to forgive it.
We serve an incredible Lord. Let us seek to avoid the sins of ancestors. Let us not stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers.